A Friendly Gathering Place: St. Michaels Crab and Steak House
St. Michaels Crab and Steak House delivers seafood with a comfortable, welcoming flair. Eric Rosen, chef and owner, greets those who enter with a huge smile. Guests feel the love and are hooked.
Proximity to the water and marina, with a service bar and pool for marina guests, give St. Michaels Crab and Steak House a unique setting. Guests can choose to dine in the tavern, which is the oldest part of the restaurant and said to have been an oyster shucking shed; a waterfront dining room with views of the harbor and yachts; a more informal bar deck adjacent to the bustling marina; and an area the staff call “the honeymoon,” a quieter deck area overlooking the water.
The restaurant’s charm, friendly and festive atmosphere, specialty drinks and perfectly prepared seafood and steaks inspire locals and visitors to return. Pair a bloody mary with a crisp softshell crab or tender crab cake for brunch on a Sunday morning or enjoy a pitcher of beer with a pile of steamed hard crabs after arriving at the marina by boat.
Rosen, who started as an Army cook and then attended the Restaurant School of Philadelphia, found his way to Easton in 1984 after a friend invited him to be the chef at the restaurant Fredi’s, then Dover West, in Easton. Later, while working at Kentmorr Restaurant and Crab House, he learned the crab business. He then took a job as the general manager and chef of the St. Michaels Crabhouse and Bar, which belonged to the adjacent Town Dock Restaurant at the time. In 1994, his parents borrowed money to help him buy and renovate the restaurant, which he later renamed the St. Michaels Crab and Steak House.
“I changed the name to include ‘steak’ as we offer a variety of steak, chicken and pork entrees,” Rosen said. “Although we are known for our seafood, one of the favorite menu items is the 16-ounce bone-in, center-cut porterhouse pork chop, specially seasoned and served with butter on top.”
Seafood delicacies for both fine and casual dining range from crab cakes, soft shell crabs and crab imperial, to rockfish, salmon and flounder, as well as steamed crabs, shrimp and mussels. Everything — including appetizers — is made fresh daily.
Rosen credits his success to hard work. The venture has been a family affair with his wife of 35 years, Anne, and both daughters, Maddie and Amanda, working there over the years.
Rosen’s daughter Maddie, the restaurant’s current manager and bartender, said, “The greatest thing about this restaurant are the people who come here. You bring a Philly guy to the Eastern Shore and look what happens. He has created a local gathering place. The loyalty of our customers has been amazing.”
INFUSED BLOODY MARY
The base for The Famous Bloody Mary is the restaurant’s house-infused vegetable vodka, made from bell peppers, onions, celery and carrots that have soaked in vodka for several days. The vodka is then mixed with a homemade bloody mary mix before it is served in a glass rimmed with crab seasoning. The garnish — a pepperoncini, an olive and a lemon slice — tops off this memorable concoction.